The forecast for Thursday this week was excellent. I would have loved to go up a hill,
however, due to a back strain and ongoing knee problems, I have to take it a
bit easy for a while. As there was no way I was going to be stuck
indoors, I drove to Chanonry Point for some dolphin-spotting and afterwards I would
also attempt to walk the stretch of coast from Alturlie Point to Fisherton.
On parking at Chanonry Point, I immediately saw four dolphins right at the shoreline. I was however several hundred metres away and by the time I got down to the shore they were well offshore.
I spent circa 2.5 hours hanging around Chanonry Point hoping for further dolphin sightings. Chanonry Point is
apparently one of the best onshore places in the world to spot dolphins and the Bottlenose Dolphins
found here are allegedly the largest in the world.
I was fortunate to spot numerous more dolphins and to capture some photographs of them.
None of them were jumping out of the water but nevertheless they were fantastic to watch.
I would probably have spent all day at Chanonry Point had Cuillin not began shivering with cold. I therefore headed back to the car to dry him off and after stopping in Inverness for some lunch decided to walk the stretch of coast from Alturlie Point to Fisherton.
Coastal Walk: Alturlie Point to Rough Burn
Date: Thursday 20th October 2016
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 6.2km, Ascent: 35m
Time: 1Hr 45Mins
On arriving at Alturlie Point, I parked in the same spot as I had parked just a couple of weeks previous to walk west from Alturlie Point towards Inverness. This time I would be venturing east.
From the outset, the walking was a little difficult owing to having to walk on
lots of pebbles. There is an unsurfaced road leading to a house just above the pebble shore which can be used for a few hundred metres.
Looking back to Alturlie Point:
The factory near Inverness is very prominent during this walk, as it is when
driving along the A96. It constantly belches steam.
Walking along the pebble bay:
Looking back towards Alturlie Point:
Beyond the pebbles, I reached an area of marshland. After passing an old boat I spotted something unusual in the water.
Old boat near Lonnie:
Sitting in the water were numerous brightly coloured Mallard. These were not however real Mallard, these were fake. Sitting in a camouflage hide on the shore was a guy with a shotgun with a large vicious dog which would very likely have went for me and Cuillin had he not been restraining it. This guy was sitting there waiting to shoot
wildfowl. The shore area was littered with spent cartridges.
I completely agree with Chris Packham on the subject of shooting wildfowl. There is currently almost free reign to blast away anything that flies overhead. This
practice should be stopped as many of the wildfowl species are declining. I
mean, what kind of dicks finds pleasure from shooting all these birds using
plastic decoy birds as bait? Seeing this kind of made my blood boil.
Fake ducks on the water:
I was glad the flock of Oystercatcher a bit further along the coast decided to fly
off in the opposite direction to the guy with the gun.
On reaching the shore alongside Castle Stuart the ground was extremely wet and boggy.
I was unfortunately stopped in my tracks by an impassable burn called Rough Burn. Despite spending circa 30 minutes trying to find a way around or through, I failed!
I might have been tempted to just wade through had I not tested the burn with my walking pole. While the water was not too deep, the sediment at the bottom was very soft mud. The full length of my walking pole disappeared into this soft mud, so I opted not to try wading through.
Impassable Rough Burn:
The only other option would have been to wade and push through long bamboo-like grass but again this was not appealing.
No thanks without a parang:
I therefore with great reluctance had to return back along the coast again
passing the guy with the gun.
To complete this section of coast it looks like I may need to venture inland i.e. behind Castle Stuart or take some wood to construct a bridge! I will
need to think of something.